Updated: May 31, 2020 11:11 PM
Created: May 31, 2020 05:41 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Police Department is asking for help identifying people who were caught on camera beating a couple outside a store on Monroe Avenue.
And the witness who shot a video of the beating is hoping he can still help the woman who was pummeled with two by fours as a group of men tried to break into a store Saturday.
Joe Painter says he was stunned as he watched this brutal beating by looters unfold outside the Rochester Fire Equipment Company on Monroe Avenue.
"It's crazy that human beings can go to that so quickly," Painter said.
Now, the police are asking for help identifying the attackers from images.
Do you know any of these men?Yesterday, May 30, these men violently attacked a store owner & her husband who were trying to protect their business from being looted. Please look at the video & still images. If you know any of them, please call Crime Stoppers @ 423-9300. pic.twitter.com/ECSNcfIcDc— Patrol_Investigations_RPD (@PatrolRpd) May 31, 2020
Painter admits he was oblivious to the turmoil unfolding in town.
"I knew that there was a protest,” Painter said. “But I didn't know that it had turned violent."
Painter's video starts as looters use two by fours and a ladder to smash their way into the business and a woman who lives in an apartment upstairs and her husband try to stop it.
“At first they were trying to reason with the people, trying to get them out of there,” Painter said
"They just unleashed on her with two by fours and everything,” Painter said. “It was crazy."
Painter says he hated being unable to step in but, unarmed, he didn't think he could help.
Rochester Police are asking people to look closely at their pictures.
Here are still images of the men we need your help to identify. pic.twitter.com/bT1pxfWNIl— Patrol_Investigations_RPD (@PatrolRpd) May 31, 2020
"I am aware of that video,” RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary said. “We will be investigating it. We've got a number of follow-ups to do with regard to what happened yesterday and We will follow up on that."
Painter says he's been in contact with the victims and, while they're both hurt, they're recovering at home.
He has taken some criticism online for staying behind his camera, but he says he hopes his video will help.
"I've provided it to the couple,” Painter said. “And that was the intent of getting it out there. So people could see this, see what was going on, and, hopefully, they will be brought to justice at some point."
Anyone who recognizes the people in the video is asked to call Crimestoppers at 585-423-9300.
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